In Review: Ho99o9 - ‘Pigs Want Me Dead’

America’s anarchist problem children step into the storm with Molotovs burning and a message for the world.
Posted: 23 July 2020 Words: Miles Ellingham

As America descends into an angry dream: as police stations burn, men are executed in the street, and the President rails deliriously against the dying of the light, a single question has persisted throughout… Where the f*** is Ho99o9?! Where is Eaddy!? TheOMG!? 

The world feels a lot like a Rockstar game right now. It’s been a long time coming, but our absurd, rage-reality is fast becoming undeniable, and who better to embody it than Ho99o9, with their run-for-cover brand of Hardcore, their twisted hip-hop adoptions taking no prisoners.  The video game analogy may have been seemed indecorous a few months ago, but leave it to Ho99o9 for a literal interpretation, as the video for their new single, ‘Pigs Want Me Dead’, sees them fully ‘Joker-fied’, exacting terrible vengeance on GTA-style police forces. 

However, whilst the official video utilises the blind frenzy of a maddened gamer-kid, the music itself has something to say. ‘Pigs Want Me Dead’ begins with a simple message, “My issue with the young activists is / Y’all have to conclude your comments by saying this is about everybody/ Y'all have to stop doing that/ This is not about everybody/ It is about us…” Instantly, Ho99o9 define the lines of engagement as a direct conflict between the black struggle and the state-sanctioned violence of America’s police. As the eerie, repetitious piano builds, so does this same line of inquiry. According to Ho99o9, nothing is safe from police aggression: not your family, not your home, not your girlfriend’s affection: “Momma be worried about me… I’m in and out of the country… Now my shawty worried about me/ Cuz the pigs want me dead.” 

If you thought Ho99o9’s new single was missing its signature visceral delivery, well, you’d be wrong there too. The music longs to take on the crowd and, proceeding their set at Black Power Live’s virtual festival, we’re all holding our breath, waiting for their eventual return to the stage. Ho99o9 are meant to be live, that’s where they excel. The first time I experienced Ho99o9 was vicarious; through a friend who’d just got back from seeing them touring in London – he looked like Colonel Kurtz, all white and sweating and, yet, pacified somehow. We need that same riddance right now. 

‘Pigs Want Me Dead’ is a middle-finger to all those who’d forgotten Ho99o9’s proclivity for disorder, to those who’d support the movement if only it weren’t for the rioting, to those who’ve spoken the names of Gucci and Target over Breonna Taylor and George Floyd. In the words of the single itself, “Gucci store pay the fees/ Rest in peace George Floyd”. Welcome back Ho99o9. 

To hear more from Ho99o9, click here.

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